The voices of harassment have finally subsided. At last, I can breathe. There is now an allowance for head space and clarity. Our loving Father knew He needed me completely relocated (twice) to grow me the most – He knows me best after all. This is my fresh start: new city, new job, new community, new day-to-day living. Never have I actually begun feeling that “the world is my oyster” until now. This is the time for me to learn how to love myself, love others, and love God well – in the unique ways God created me to love. This is the time I truly start exercising my will – instead of exercising my will trying to please others. This is my time of freedom to do, to say, to simply be.
When I relocated to San Diego from Los Angeles, I stayed in a little studio space under a family’s home. Seven months in this space quickly came and went. Little did I know that my mind was detoxing from all the negative and condescending voices pestering me for decades. I would often shift blame for my bad habits and poor decisions onto what “awful” things were said or done to me in the past. Though there may be some truth to that statement, I cannot excuse myself from continuing bad habits and making poor decisions anymore. Whatever has happened in the past is in the past, and now I have the choice to move on, to heal from my hurts, to forgive those who hurt me, create healthy habits, make good decisions, and keep pressing forward!
Friends, we all have a history. Some of the chapters in our story may look quite wonderful; some may look horrific; some may honestly look quite mundane. There may be some chapters that seem to repeat themselves over and over again (that was me). I literally have FILLED several journals with the same struggle page after page after page. No matter how you view your history, it is all part of your special story. The question is – What will you do with it?
My good friend graciously took me in for the month of January, and I happily moved into my new home in February – into a trailer park! A difficult landlord and mold situation were replaced with a wonderful roommate full of life and creativity. I moved from living like a troll in a dark dungeon to a chipper lady in her bright and beautifully curated living space. I also now have the cutest kitchen! I also never have to wash my dishes in the bathroom sink and dry them on top of my toilet ever again (God willing). I now live less than a mile from the beach and can walk to the local coffee shop, which has seriously been a dream of mine since FOREVER. And guess what, my commute to work is just under five miles! I mean, come on. I thought my next move would be somewhere in the inner city, but this will definitely do for now. It feels too good to be true. Thank you, Father God. You ARE that good that it’s true!
Changing our environment and creating a “clean slate” certainly helps, but it doesn’t fix our issues. Many times I fall back into old habits and old thinking. I try my best to catch myself, yet I still fail. But I can say I’m trying my best to bounce back and move forward, refusing to let those things suck me down into the pit of guilt, shame, condemnation, or any victim mindset. I’m learning to extend grace and patience to myself, while simultaneously receiving God’s unconditional love and forgiveness. I’m learning to repent throughout the day and propel myself forward with God’s grace. No matter how difficult and painful the process is, I choose to keep standing, to keep walking. Jesus died for our freedom, so let’s show the world His sacrifice was not in vain!
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come! – 2 Corinthians 5:17 (CSB)